2014 Phillies Player Previews - Oh God Why Did I Choose Papelbon

I AM SHITTING LIGHTBULBS. - Rich Schultz

This probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Philly's $58 dollar man is back for another round of woeful autoilluminated riverdance, but maybe we can find a bright light in that tunnel of shame.

The signing of Jonathan Papelbon on Armistice Day, 2011, was met, on TheGoodPhight, at least, by essentially what the rest of the world thinks of Philly fans. Santa Claus carried the news on to the field, and we got drunk and threw batteries at him.

More or less.

My comment at the time was, "we’re buying a new Cadillac while the dishwasher leaks. PRIORITIES!"

Unfortunately, if 2013 is any indication, we didn't get a Cadillac. Hell, we didn't even get a Pontiac Aztek. In any case, it turned out that what we thought was a leaking dishwasher was actually an unexploded nuclear bomb. Who knew.

Papelbon's 2013 Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference pages.

The supposed bright side of Papelbon's Riverdancing Absurdity of a contract was that he was The Best Relief Pitcher Available. And, to be fair, in the four years preceeding P-Day, Lights On assembled a solid 9.6 fWAR or 7.1 rWAR. Not exactly Mariano Rivera, but nobody is Mariano Rivera. Still at $6M per win, that's a $42.6M to $57.6M value, close enough for Philadelphia work to the $50,000,058 that... oh. Yeah. I honestly had forgotten about that.

Fiveio Eightio was so enamored of his own bad self that he insisted on an extra fifty eight bucks. And, of course, in so doing, he took Antonio Bastardo's number.

But the $58 though. Man. What an asshole.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, based on the previous four year's WAR, Paps' wasn't an absolute disaster of a deal. I mean, it was bad, really bad, but not, like, world-ending bad. Bad enough to suck, but not bad enough that it should cripple a newly-minted Big Market (tm) franchise coming off a record-breaking winning season, right?

*cries*

Anyway, we didn't get our Cadillac. Since 2011, while "earning" $24,000,058, Lightbulb was worth between 2.4 and 3.2 wins, for a team, meanwhile, that went 154-170. Should have fixed the dishwasher.

But, again, I seem to be unaware of the meaning of "preview." Lessee here. Steamer projects Papelbon to accumulate 0.4 fWAR, with a 3.08 ERA, a 3.44 FIP and 8.85 Ks per nine. Oliver says to expect 0.8 fWAR, 3.11 ERA, 2.94 FIP and 9.61 Ks per nine. ZiPS is calling for 0.8 fWAR, 3.04 ERA, 2.86 FIP and 10.17 Ks per nine. Not terrible, exactly, but not worth $13M.

But you go to war with the antiquated weapons you have, and Papelbon's our Brewster Buffalo. Of course, the Finns got great use of the Buffalo, so who knows. That's the kind of hard-hitting analysis they don't teach at the academy.

In any case, and bad analogies aside, we're stuck with the Savecannon for now. The sooner we can get rid of him, the better, but until then, we have an above-average, if very expensive, closer. There's some enjoyment to be found there, right?

Right guys?

No? No.

Well, how about this, then. It's the penultimate year of his contract. That's got to count for something, right?

Well...

"I definitely didn't come here for this..."

Oh, Paps. Please leave.

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